Hurricane, Bahamas

Winslow Homer American

Not on view

Homer’s attention to inclement weather in this watercolor distinguishes it from the more idyllic tropical images he produced during a previous trip to the Bahamas, in 1884–85. Dark clouds threaten, while several tall palms are lashed by violent winds. As was his tendency, the artist acknowledged the archipelago’s status as a Crown colony—signaled here at bottom center with the Red Ensign, a flag flown by British ships. This detail combined with the tempestuous weather may evoke the geopolitical turmoil elsewhere in the Caribbean that year, specifically in Cuba and Puerto Rico. The weather events depicted here and in Homer’s images of storms off the coast of Maine represent important precursors to the turbulence of The Gulf Stream.

Hurricane, Bahamas, Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper, American

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